Brighton & Hove

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LONG NOSE PUPPETS PRESENT: OUT OF THE HAT – a fantastic family show

I took two six year olds and a one year old along to watch the Long Nose Puppet Show: Out Of The Hat and was charmed by how sweet and innocent the whole production was. The story line is very cute, two birds Doris and Delilah wake up to find something magical and sparkly has fallen from the sky and are inspired to put on a magic show for their friends. Along the way they encounter some fantastic characters who help them to create their dream performance.

After the show I asked my son what he thought about the whole performance and he said “friendship and magic”. And to be fair, that’s a pretty good summary!

The 45 minute show is full of delightful songs, which seemed to captivate EVERY child in the room. The entire sound track is unique to the show and is available to purchase – considering how hypnotising it was, every parent should own one!

All the supporting characters were lovely. Their costumes were fun and songs really reflected their parts. I personally thought the frogs and grumpy stick insect were the best.

Considering how all the children zoned out, it was fab to see Komedia offered a fully stocked bar and snacks – a perfect treat for parents. The room is lovely and safe, only one way in and out, so a perfect blend to offer some much needed R&R after a busy day of shopping. The only downside was the heat. The room was so hot. I was really uncomfortable in my nice warm jumper, but thankfully the children didn’t seem to mind.

After the show the talented puppeteers brought out some of the puppets for all to see and touch. It left such a magical feel. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would recommend it. £32 for a family of 4 feels like great value.

The show states it’s relevant for all children, especially 2-8 year olds – but I think my 6 year old son is at the top end. My one and a half year old loved it, and I was so pleased and relaxed to feel the whole audience didn’t care about a bit of noise or movement. You can get there 30 mins before it starts and we didn’t feel rushed out. All in all, a wonderful experience. 5 stars all the way.

Christmas family fun with a free grotto, Christmas markets, shows, circus, rides, cinema experience, a huge observation wheel and the Magical Ice Kingdom, plus themed bars for the grown-ups and lots of food choices. It’s even complete with the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink.

Even Scrooge would struggle to not enjoy the magical Christmas vibe within Hyde Park’s Wonderland of fun and cheer. Entry is free and its open from 10am to 10pm daily. As soon as it gets dark you’ll be blown away the magical Christmas lights and by day you’ll struggle not to get in the spirit as you absorb the beautiful Christmas market and festive tunes.

This is a true family-friendly day out. We went from 10am to 6pm and run out of time. There are rides galore to keep adults and children of all ages happy. There are gentle rides and attractions for children as young as two, with thrilling rollercoasters for teens. Most of the site is buggy-friendly (with buggy parks), the floors are covered with boards to stop mud flowing and there are baby-changing facilities at various toilets. There could be more facilities available, do expect to queue.

This year the Magical Ice Kingdom presents an ‘Enchanted Forest’ – an immersive walk through experience filled with ice and snow sculptures. It can get pretty chilly in here a frosty -10C (14F), but it’s worth the chill. The sculptures are mind-blowing, you’ll be amazed by their detail. Don’t worry about the cold, just remember you’re never far away from a mulled wine or a hot chocolate!

From chips to traditional German meals, there is so much food choice, you’ll definitely find something to suit all the family. I was surprised how reasonably priced all the food is. A massive plain hotdog was £4 and stuffed my fussy eater for hours.

The shows are incredible. We started the day by watching the Teletubbies. 45 minutes of action packed fun which kept my 6 year old and 1 year old fully entertained. The only drama was when they wanted a flashy light toy – £12 each. Ouch!

The Snowman cinema experience was something else. We’ve all seen the film, but this was totally different. 45 minutes of a fully immersive experience. Adults will relive our childhood experiences and kids will be fully entertained. Feeling the wind from their flight and smelling the trees from the wood gives such a magical twist on the whole experience.

Just be prepared to spend! Individually the events aren’t that expensive; a family Ice Skating session is £38, as is the Zippo Circus. The rides start at £2 and go up and up. We went on one roller coaster that was £9 each. So, like I said, be prepared to spend!

Also, make sure you book for the shows and attractions before you go. They get fully booked quickly and really make the day special and unique. I can’t recommend this place enough. The rides are expensive, but worth it and queues can be long. But as long as you are armed with snacks, the kids will love it. My first time there was amazing, a real unique way to kick-start Christmas.

With the cold, dark days drawing in it’s getting harder to make sure we get the little ones out everyday; let alone ensure they have enough exercise. That’s why structured, fun clubs like Mini Athletics are ideal for 2-7 year olds. Each week has a different theme and promotes different aspects of health and well-being.

I took my nearly 6 year old to the Old Boat Corner Community Centre in Hollingbury on Saturday morning. It was a small class, only 6 children, so there was lots of exercise and the fun never seemed to end!

This week we all went to the circus. The activities we’re completed in pairs and focused on teamwork and fine motor skills. All the equipment is clear, looks new and is bright and colourful. Jess (the Director) and her assistant were jammed packed with energy. They continually interacted with all the children and made all aspects fun, even putting the equipment away was entertaining! They knew the session programme inside and out, so each activity was seamless.

I felt this was a real gem and loved the session. It’s great that both boys and girls play together and the age brackets worked perfectly. You do have to buy the uniform (a light vest) but the classes are very reasonable: £48 for 6 classes, or £88 for 12 weeks.

If you want to know more, visit: www.miniathletics.com or call Jess on 07876023857.

As I entered Easthill Park in Portslade, I wasn’t too sure what to expect.  Their website explains their activities, but I’ve never been to a class like this before.  I was worried my 19 month old son would be too young and hate it.  No one likes a toddler breakdown!  My only experience of this type of learning is thorough my 5 year old son who is lucky enough to have these classes at his school, and he loves them.  He get’s submerged in nature and eagerly awaits the next session.

As I walked into the wilderness I was blown away.  You enter a small forest area and it’s like you walk into a small community.  We walked around the first few stations, which were all carefully set out and he was instantly distracted by the water and mud table.  He loved it!  We stayed there until it was time for a quick music break, where we all met around the strategically placed music area.  You could sit on big or small logs, cushions or the floor.  It was lovely.  You really felt like you were back to nature.

Snack time was amazing, tea and coffee for the biggies and so many different snacks for the little ones.  I was gobsmacked when Simone bought out a small stove and cooked vegan pancakes for everyone.  All the kids (and adults) sat quietly and scoffed these lovely snacks, felling all warm and fuelled for more play.

The classes are affordable, busy and very creative.  They are suitable for all children under 5 and there is lots to do!  For more information or to book yourself into a class, visit: www.beeinthewoods.co.uk

Gina x

 

Wow, just wow. What an amazing experience.  Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures is described as an ‘immersive, interactive theatre experience’.  But it is so much more than that.  It’s a mix of Crystal Maze, Panic Rooms and a theatre production.  There is so much thought, detail and love put into this venture, it really is an amazing, emotional and above all magical experience.

Their slogan ‘Climb aboard a train and explore the world in just an hour’ hits the nail on the head.  You get exactly that, plus a lot of excitement and laughs along the way.  The sets were designed by Craft Work (famous for creating sets for Harry Potter, Star Wars etc) and are just beautiful.  You are submerged into magical lands that are breath-taking and fun.

I was lucky enough to meet the owner Graham Owen and was blown away by his vision and enthusiasm.  He has put everything into this project and you can just feel his love and passion.  When I asked how on earth he managed to create such a different and unique experience, let alone how he physically managed to do it, his answer was clear and passionate.  His vision is simply to help families connect and provide quality time away from screens, work etc.  And he has done just that.

It’s not just an hours experience, the venue has so much more on offer.  There are meeting rooms for hire, the most awe-taking garden to dine and drink in, a games room, even a ladies room.  And so much more.  You’ll be in a group of no more than 12 people, but I can see families, hen-dos, office outings or even single visitors all going and all having fun.  I went alone but quickly felt welcomed and part of a team, it didn’t matter that I walked in solo.

Graham wanted to create an adventure that is unlike anything the public has ever seen before, and he’s nailed it.  His creative genius doesn’t end here, he’s going to create seasonally themed events  which I’m sure will be as detailed, fun and wonderful as the current one.  He told me of his Christmas themed ideas and I can’t wait!

I took photos but I’m not going to share them on here.  It’s such a unique and personal experience I feel it’s cheating if I show you too much; it’s for you to enjoy and experience yourselves.  And I guarantee you will.

The show opens to the public on Sunday in Sussex House, Hollingbury. Visit www.phileasfoggsworldofadventures.co.uk for more details. And enjoy every moment!

Gina x